History of the Kern Lipid Conference

The first Lipid Conference was organized by Fred Kern, Scott Grundy and Roger Davis in 1985. A generous founding endowment by the Colorado Trust helped form the Aspen Conference, Inc. as a non-profit corporation with a mission to organize and partially fund an annual conference. Additional funding has been obtained from the NIH, private research foundations and industrial corporations. Funding varies for each conference and is formally acknowledged in the annual program. The Aspen Conference was formulated with the following considerations:

  • At least 25% of the participants are "younger" scientists (at the level of assistant professor or below in career development) to allow these individuals the opportunity to discuss up-to-date research on a one to one basis with established scientists.
  • To promote science that relates to the broad areas of lipid, cholesterol, bile acid and lipoprotein metabolism and the pathobiologies associated with disordered lipid metabolism.
  • To provide an open forum where scientists from both academia and industry could meet and discuss science related to lipid metabolism.
  • To provide a unique meeting format in which 50% of the time is devoted to formal presentations and 50% of the time is devoted to open discussions of each topic.
  • In 1996, through a unanimous vote by the Board of Directors, the Aspen Lipid Conference was renamed to the Kern Aspen Lipid Conference in recognition of its leading proponent, the late Dr. Fred Kern, Jr. In 2011, the conference left Aspen and moved to Vail, CO, and the word “Aspen” was removed from the conference title.